Blog - Title

  • The Bardakist

    Refugee in Seattle that enjoys what the community is doing...

    • 1 Comments

    Readers,

    It has been almost a week since a big wind storm hit the pacific northwest and my family is staying in an alternative house since our house is still without power (with sub freezing night tempratures). At least no trees ended on our roof. Well, now that we have some place warm to be, I could spend some more time looking at what people are doing with "WPF/E" and I wanted to talk about a sample on Mike Taulty blog that shows 12 videos playing and animating concurrently. Although it is simple we can learn two things about what you can do with "WPF/E":

    1. "WPF/E" codec implementation is quite efficient. I do not have the best performing laptop and even though this is an early CTP, playback looks good.

    2. Video (as represented from a Media element) is an integral part of xaml and the resulting experience. No more video islands.

    12 videos playing

    What do you think?

     Barak

  • The Bardakist

    Share your love for Valentine's day with Silverlight

    • 3 Comments

    What would be a better way of sharing your love other than using a free Silverlight customizable Valentine's day card?

    The Silverlight and Windows Live teams collaborated on creating such a card as can be experienced here:

    Note that the card was implemented in a way that allows universal use of it. You can use any language to compose your message. This is done by overlaying HTML DIV on top of the Silverlight UI.

    Enjoy and remember to send your own card on time, Valentine's day is Feb 14th

     

  • The Bardakist

    Emergence of social networks for kids with Silverlight

    • 2 Comments

    In my last business trip I had the pleasure to meet the leaders of a small company that is betting big on Silverlight. 

    Shidonni is a collaborative that is targeting kids between the ages of 4-8 (way lower than other social networking sites) and is encouraging the concept of creation (kids can create their own interactive creatures), sharing (they can share them with their friends), interaction (playing games with their characters) and learning. Targeting kids of smaller age is interesting and possibly marks a trend. When I was 4 I was not interested in social network 9I did not know what they were), but my little kids certainly are more exposed to the digital world and this seems like an interesting approach for introducing kids to this virtual world in a safe manner.

    shidonni site 

    Let your kid try it and let them know the reaction.

    Barak

  • The Bardakist

    We released "Tafiti" Search Visualization (w/source code)

    • 3 Comments

    In December we released the source code for "Tafiti". A search visualization app that uses Live Search in the background and Silverlight on the front end to render search results in a compelling way. Tafiti is the first example we had for a dynamic application that renders temporal service data using Silverlight. We expect this area of synamic application to evolve and offer users more compelling experiences with their online services.

     Tafiti

    Now is your chance to look at the guts of this app and think how you can use this wizdom to create your own application.

     

  • The Bardakist

    Microsoft Silverlight for Symbian beta is available

    • 0 Comments

    As discussed at PDC last year, Microsoft is working with Nokia to make Silverlight available for Nokia’s phones.

    Starting this week you can download the Silverlight for Symbian beta version runtime and tools from the Microsoft Silverlight for Symbian - Beta site.

    This release is another milestone in our efforts bringing Silverlight to the leader in worldwide market share for smartphones, the Symbian platform.

    With this beta release, developers can start targeting a broader range of devices using the same skillset and tools; specifically, this beta release performance profile is focused on media scenarios.

    Also, since the Silverlight for Symbian bits are a subset of the desktop version of Silverlight, you can browse to mobile Silverlight implementation and the application will render correctly also on your desktop (which is useful for debugging).

    Since this is still a beta release you may still run into performance issues or bugs. Please share your feedback with our team, we will listen.

    The following resources will help you get started developing Silverlight applications for Symbian S60 devices:

  • The Bardakist

    Happy Holidays

    • 1 Comments

     

    I spent the last month traveling, visiting the UK and my home country, Israel. Sun was abundant and thus my spirit is high.

    Beyond some vacation and very close ancounters with Alpakas and Lamas (images will follow) I had the pleasure to meet some design firms that are already doing great things with Silverlight and some startup companies that are lookign into harnessing what Silvelright can do to the innovation they want to bring (more details about these in my next blog).

     But now it is time to relax and enjoy the holiday season. It is my pleasure to introduce some jems that you can share with freinds:

    1. http://www.wunderfulholidays.com/ - design your own gengerbread and share it.

    2. http://www.seasonal-greetings.com/ - view a pencil drawn London

    3. http://www.onlinespotlight.no/en/Christmas07/ - from the MSDN norway team

    4. And my favorite: http://www.mason-zimbler.com/festivegreetings/  - absolutly a contender to the next eurovision song contest

     Until next time.

     

  • The Bardakist

    MSN Toolbar is live and kicking

    • 0 Comments

    A team of trail blaziers from MSN released last week the new MSN toolbar. This is the first commercial native Win32 application that uses Silverlight as its rendering engine. The chose Silverlight because of two reasons:

    1. Small memory footprint: MSN toolbar is a browser plug in that needs to have a small memory footprint (mainly because new instances of it are running while the browser is open). Silverlight small footprint enabled that.
    2. Rendring online content: the toolbar is used to render up-to date content and Silverlight provides the right architecture to deliver that.

    Try it today on http://toolbar.msn.com/Overview.aspx?loc=en-us

    MSN Toolbar

     To the customer, the toolbar provides a simple way to be up to date on today's news. It is also enhances the search experience.

    Download and Enjoy.

    PS. the toolbar is compatible with Silverlight 1.0 and with Silverlight 2 beta 2 (and forward).

  • The Bardakist

    The new Silverlight 4 powered Bing Webmaster Tools shown at SMX

    • 2 Comments

    Earlier this week, the Bing team showed a complete revamp of Bing’s Webmaster tools at SMX Advanced Conference in Seattle. The Bing Webmaster team chose to focus on three key areas of interest to webmasters: Crawl, Index, and Traffic. Each area will offer detailed data going back as far as six months with dynamic charting capabilities, enabling webmasters to focus on the timeline trends that are most meaningful to them. The Tools are web-based, and basic functionality is available through most web browsers. However, to achieve the full potential of the Tools, a Silverlight 4 powered version is available. Silverlight enabled the Bing development team to provide a smooth, visual experience, enabling webmasters to better analyze important trends through connected visual data about their websites. Read more here: http://www.bing.com/community/blogs/webmaster/archive/2010/06/09/an-smx-sneak-peek-at-the-new-bing-webmaster-tools.aspx

  • The Bardakist

    Installing Silverlight became much easier OR Piotr is a hero

    • 0 Comments

    If you recall, until now when you installed Silverlight using the SDK Silverlight.js file, you could refresh the IE to view the content but needed to restart Firefox and Safari.

    Well, thanks to Piotr from our setup team, things have changed dramatically.

    You HAVE to read his blog post on this. It is simple and will make your customers happy.

     

     

  • The Bardakist

    Silverlight 3 beta is here with some oomph

    • 1 Comments

    This week at MIX we revealed a beta version of Silverlight 3. This version addresses many asks we heard from you from your Silverlight 2 experience.

    There are tons of new things (in a package simiar in size):

    Media

    • Smooth streamign suppot (working with IIS media services)
    • More HD with H.264
    • GPU acceleration for video rendering and resizing (full screen HD is enabled by that)
    • Raw AV pipeline (you can write your own codec in managed code, if you are writing one, please let me know about it)
    • PlayReady DRM for VC-1 media

    Graphics

    • Perspective 3D transform
    • Bitmap caching (improving speed)
    • Bitmap APIs
    • Pixel Shaders(GPU based)
    • Dynamic Styling and Theming
    • Improved text rendering (you will see more of that in the RTW release)

    Application Development

    • Over 60 controls
    • Search SEO support
    • Data form controls
    • DLL Caching
    • Binary XML
    • Better data binding
    • Better Accessibility

    Out of browser

    • Run your SL app on the desktop on Mac and Windows
    • Start menu and desktop icons
    • Sandboxed envinronment
    • Connectivity detection
    • Widnows 7 integration (touch)
    • No admin smooth installation and update

    You can access the bits on http://silverlight.net  

    This is a great release and we have more good stuff in the pipe. Stay tuned.

    Barak

     

  • The Bardakist

    Happy Halloween from the Silverlight team (and Archetype)

    • 0 Comments

    One of our favorite Vendors, Archetype (http://www.archetype-inc.com ) created this great Silverlight based Haloween greeting card.

    You can carve your own pumpkin and send to your friends.

    Try it, it is great (and is hosted on Azure): http://halloween.cloudapp.net/pumpkin/02a97183-d2c3-4b5f-a692-75c23da13703

  • The Bardakist

    New Microsoft.com video portal available

    • 1 Comments

    Video is becoming more and more relevant format to convey information these days. Microsoft released today a new beta video portal that is a single repository of videos that Microsoft creates for various purposes (marketing, education, training and more). You can search and embedd videos in your blog like this one:

    You can expect to see much more video content spread in Microsoft portal to help our customers.

    The portal is using the MSN Video hosting service in the back-end and obviously uses Silverlight for the video presentation.

    Enjoy.

  • The Bardakist

    Create a virtual watch, get a real one

    • 1 Comments

    Ball Watch USA and Microsoft are teaming up to give you a reason to try the new Expression Studio 4 to build one of the Ball watches in Silverlight 4 like this.  You can win one of the watches! Ball Watch Company has a line of beautiful railroad-inspired watches aimed at the adventurers that many of us aspire to be – their motto is “Since 1891, accuracy under adverse conditions.”

    Read more here: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/synergist/archive/2010/06/07/enter-to-win-a-ball-watch-by-creating-one-in-silverlight.aspx

  • The Bardakist

    You thought you knew how to show video playback. Watch this.

    • 0 Comments

    Readers,

     Video playback on the web does not have to be boring. Check out this new implementation from the Channel 9 team. It plays, it resizes, it animates it entertains and it's alive

    New Channel 9 Video Playback Experience

  • The Bardakist

    Happy New Year from the Silverlight team

    • 1 Comments
    During the weekend and with the help of some Wunderman/VML people and Tiffany our web lady, we managed to retrofit the holiday greeting card as a Happy New Year card. It is available at: http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/HappyNewYear2008/default.html. Please share it with your freinds.
  • The Bardakist

    Tafiti is now powered by more Windows Live services

    • 0 Comments
    At MIX we released an update to the Tafiti projects that integrates more Windows Live services in it (specifically, presence and P2P messenger APIs that allow one to share search favorites with buddies). You can find the new Tafiti site here: http://tafiti.mslivelabs.com/Default.aspx. This site shows how WL Messenger APIs can allow sites to encourage interaction with peers. Find the project page on Code Plex here
  • The Bardakist

    My new Samsung Focus Windows Phone 7

    • 2 Comments

    The phone is here as well as the jury verdict. It is a good device.

    I just got the new phone this week, and here are the 10 things I like about it:

    1. Metro is a good UX paradigm, it is just a nice design
    2. Email and Facebook interfaces are somewhat better then the original desktop/Web versions.
    3. Office apps are actualy useful
    4. It is so easy to get on various types of wifi networtks
    5. Zune interface is nice and there is an FM radio
    6. Integrated search works correctly
    7. Browser can read bi-di text and is quite good. I thought I would miss some plug-ins, but I don't
    8. There are many apps to choose from, and I already installed Netflix, Weatherbug, Level and several more
    9. There is plenty of space on the device AND a place to add Micro SD memory (although I did not do it yet due to the issues around it)
    10. The lock screen provides needed information

    Overall, this is a very good device that IMHO is a good alternative to Android and iPhone. I wish MS had a better business model to generate revenue from this business.

    Happy Holidays

     

  • The Bardakist

    Expression 4 is released

    • 0 Comments

    Yesterday, at Internet Week New York we launched Expression Studio 4. This new version is shipping just 10 months after Expression Studio 3 and includes support for Silverlight 4, the .NET Framework 4, and interoperability with Visual Studio 2010 and TFS 2010.

     

    In this version we movined to a new SKU structure that aligns with the the new Visual Studio and MSDN SKUs. There are now three levels of Expression Studio: Expression Studio Web Pro, Expression Studio Premium, and Expression Studio Ultimate.

     

    Expression Studio 4 Ultimate is available to download here: http://www.microsoft.com/expression/try-it/ 

     

    Important Note: If you are developing in Silverlight for Windows Phone 7, please do not install the released version of Expression Studio 4. You must continue to use the Blend 4 Beta and Add-in Preview for Windows Phone. This Beta will be refreshed with each Phone SDK pre-release and will be unified with released Blend 4 in a service pack which will release when the Windows Phone SDK releases.

     

    Enjoy.

  • The Bardakist

    The Microsoft Silverlight Analytics Framework at Mix 2010

    • 0 Comments

    We all want our applications and Web sites to be effective. 

    How does one know that the application is effective? How does one gather information about how the application is being used and interacted with?

    Understanding this requires instrumentation (that is often done after the fact) and usually is a cumbersome process.

    Well, at MIX you will hear how Silverlight empowers you to do this in a much easier way (It might actually blow you away).

    My colleague Michael S. Scherotter  is going to introduce and talk about the Silverlight Analytics Framework at MIX.

    The Silverlight Analytics Framework is about to release next week (March 15 2010) on CodePlex as free open-source framework.  The Framework is available for both in browser and out of browser Silverlight applications, is integrated nicely with the design experience in Blend and is supporting many analytic services it can report into.

    The session on the framework will be on Monday 3/15/2010 at 2:00 PM at our Mix Conference in Las Vegas – it will be recorded and put up on the Mix site soon after so if you can’t make it, you can still learn about it. 

    From my experience, after you try this, you will never want to look back. Michael and team did some amazing work on this.

    Barak

     

     

     

     

     

  • The Bardakist

    It is fun on the Surface

    • 0 Comments

    Microsoft Surface 

    just wanted to update you that the redesign of http://surface.com is now complete, offering a better experience for customers and partners. What you’ll find:

    • Improved layout and navigation with lots of Silverlight based content
    • Showcase of top deployments and partner activity
    • Easier steps to purchasing a Surface unit (I want one too)
    • Fast path to QuickStart and becoming a partner

    The surface team is not done yet and you can expect to see more content coming along.

    An important thing to know is that this whole site was built in two weeks. Great job by the Surface team.

    Read more about Surface in their blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/surface/

    Barak

  • The Bardakist

    The Bing maps application store is getting closer with the new SDK from Bing Maps (and you can be there too)

    • 1 Comments

    As of yesterday, developers can download the Bing Map App SDK and start building, testing and submitting applications to Bing Maps to be featured in the gallery.

    To access the Bing Map App SDK, login to Microsoft Connect at http://connect.microsoft.com/bingmapapps (you’ll need a Live ID, so make sure you have one). Download the SDK which comes with a Bing Map App template and start cranking away on your project in Visual Studio (note: the Bing Maps site was upgraded to Silverlight 4 - read more about the changes to Bing Maps). Once you’ve created your application, you can test it on the site itself. That’s right! The developer sandbox is the actual site. You simply need to go to http://www.bing.com/maps/explore/?developer=1&preview=1, click the map apps button and you’ll unlock our secret map app test tool.

    Along with the SDK the Bing team also published new map apps from external developers – Weather by Weatherbug and EveryScape by Everscape.

    And you can also win prizes by writing your map applications (by participating in the King of Bing Maps Challenge).

    Check our more details in the Bing Maps blog: http://blogs.msdn.com/controlpanel/blogs/posteditor.aspx?SelectedNavItem=NewPost&WeblogID=5193 

  • The Bardakist

    Our friends at contentmaster launched a new Silverlight sample site at http://www.silverlighttoys.com.

    • 0 Comments

    Andy Yeckel and Umesh Patel own this. Try it out.

    It has samples (http://www.silverlighttoys.com/Samples.aspx) and Tutorials (http://www.silverlighttoys.com/Tutorials.aspx)

    Sample code never hurts.

    Barak

  • The Bardakist

    Teaching and learning is so much better with Office 365 and Windows 8 - The learning companion sample application is available

    • 4 Comments

    Some of you heard that part of what I did in Office 365 was thinking about education and how to help students and teachers. Well, my team just released a sample app that does just that.

    The Contoso Learning Companion is a sample Windows application that demonstrates how students and teachers can run their teaching and learning more effectively with the help of Office 365 services and a modern Windows 8 application that eliminates the need to visit multiple Web sites that represent different classes. The application allows developers to easily build solutions to the education market.

    Take a look at: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=35556 

    You will need an Office 365 account to get this to run (if you are a school or just want to try, it will not hurt you at all to try), you can start here: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/

    Until next time...

     

     

  • The Bardakist

    Happy New 2009

    • 1 Comments

    The year had just began and it is time to share some electronic greeting cards the design agencies we work with created, please share with your freinds and family.

     

    Ascentium  Razorfish 

     

  • The Bardakist

    Learn about what's New with Information Rights Management in SharePoint and SharePoint Online in Vegas and online

    • 0 Comments

    next week I will be speaking at the SharePoint conference in Las Vegas (http://www.mssharepointconference.com/Pages/default.aspx).

    I will be talking about the work my team has done to reimagine IRM services in SharePoint and SharePoint online. We did a lot of re-plumbing to ensure this unique service is available in the Office 365 cloud and also made some significant progress in improving the management of the feature, adding new capabilities (such as group protection), adding PDF to the list of file types we can protect and finally made the whole thing programmable. Read about this more at he official blog post: http://sharepoint.microsoft.com/blog/Pages/BlogPost.aspx?pID=1048 and let me know what you think. Obviously, you are welcome to attend my session in the conference to learn more: Deep Dive on Information Rights Management and SharePoint (Breakout Session 12: Wed 3:15pm – 4:30pm , SPC073)

     

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